A Storyby Jill McCorkle
Nobody cares about the little baby in a pan that Theresa has been looking at over and over on the computer, a little bloody-bird-looking thing. A woman from her church sent it to her last week, and she had not been able to stop looking. This was the same woman—Faye Pitman—who organized the community flea market to raise money for the needy. And I mean the real needy, she liked to say, not those just looking for an easy handout. Faye Pitman was a leader and the kind of person that Theresa had always feared as much as she admired. Only a confident person could wear those big gold epaulettes and matching belt buckle that Faye wore at a recent meet-and-greet event. Theresa liked to be included and noticed by Faye—Faye loved Theresa’s cheese biscuits made with Rice Krispies and a dash of cayenne pepper, for instance—but she did not like to be singled out for questions like when Faye quizzed her about her daughter, Candy, who had a baby without a man in sight and has a tattoo of a dragon that wraps all around her leg. At least, Faye wrote when she sent the video, that grandson of yours didn’t end up like this!
“Who in the hell is that woman?” Candy, who recently said she wants to be called Zandy—short for something sophisticated like Alexandra—said, “and why would she send you such an awful message?”
“She’s just relieved you let little Dillon live,” Theresa said, “and so am I, even though you have no earthly idea who the daddy is.”
“Of course I know who the daddy is. I chose him,” Candy/Zandy said and then she said that she was tired of all the propaganda from people like that idiot Faye woman. She said, if that was a real photo of a real baby, it was a rare sight compared to all the unwanted children on the planet and all the poor young women who died trying not to have a baby. How about I send you and Faye some footage of starving children or those sexually abused in their own beds? Candy had all kinds of information she was ready to give like she might’ve been Moses on the mountaintop; she said the occurrence of such a late-term abortion (that’s what she called that poor baby in the pan) was a rare thing, and who knew what the sad circumstances might be. She said it was more likely someone’s sad miscarriage. She talked cells and clusters and what-have-you until Theresa wanted to throw a pan at her and she could have because Candy was standing right there in the kitchen in those short shorts she’s too old to be wearing with that scaley green dragon looking like he’s breathing fire on her you-know-what. Theresa was sorry she ever even showed her what Faye sent, but she was always hoping they might connect on something that would make Candy into a believer and then, thank God, people like Faye would stop judging Theresa for something completely out of her control.